JOHANNESBURG - The failure to take action to fix an operating room at one major hospital and inaction against widespread corruption at another has again brought the state of the Gauteng health system into sharp focus.
In the Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital in Soweto, one operating room has been closed for three months causing critical procedures to be postponed.
Clinic manager Dr Thulani Mngomezulu said this is due to not having enough engineers to attend to the problems.
“As a hospital like any other health institution, we don’t have engineers on site. We’ve got a department of infrastructure in development, which is doing those services for us. So, all we can do as a hospital is to log a call.”
But, Mngomezulu said there has been some progress: “We did receive, beginning of this week, that a contractor has been appointed and the last communication on Thursday was that a contractor will be on site, but I am not quite sure yet of the time.”
At the Tembisa Hospital, widespread corruption has been uncovered in a News24 investigation. According to the publication, this corruption has been linked to the killing of health official Babita Deokaran who identified suspect contracts worth R800 million.
The Democratic Alliance’s Jack Bloom said they would picket outside the hospital on Friday to ask why the provincial government is still not taking any action: “Now we have a situation where it’s been three weeks since this scandalous evidence has come to light about massive corruption at Tembisa Hospital and it may well be linked to the murder of Babita Doekaran and it’s just deafening silence with nothing said by the premier or the Gauteng Health Department.”